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Who helped or inspired you to start investing?

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    Who helped or inspired you to start investing?

    Last night I spent 2 hours on the phone helping a buddy (age 40 FT student, married), go over index funds vs ETFs and navigating through his Vanguard account to get him more familiar. While he's had a Roth setup with two funds for 3-4 years now, he had questions about taxable accounts as well which I had him open. It sounds like his wife is starting to get interested in the subject (Roths and taxable) as well, as they only contributed up to employer match for their 401Ks.

    At the end of the discussion we both agreed we wish we had other friends around our age that we could dive into these subjects more. Then he asked me who got me started with investing. Although I really didn't take the full initiative until 5-6 years ago, when I felt EF size was more than I needed. The more I reflected on it, I know my parents are great savers, but never taught me about real money management or investing. It really comes back to this site for knowledge, as I really couldn't talk to anyone about it before given its such a personal topic.

    So my question is, who helped you get started with investments and at what age?

    "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

    #2
    Kudos to you for helping your friend, and to him for being open to the help. I hope you also referred him to this site.

    I'd have to say my father was my role model. As far back as I can remember, he was always involved in managing their money, buying savings bonds, CDs, and stocks (I don't believe he ever owned a mutual fund). I would often go with him to the bank when he was making transactions. I don't really recall him ever sitting me down and teaching me stuff in the way that I have with our daughter, but he definitely led by example and I'm sure I asked some questions along the way.

    Most of my investing, though, happened after my father was gone and I'm largely self taught. I subscribed to Money and Kiplinger magazines. I think I got Smart Money for a while too. I used to read the business section of the local paper regularly. Once the internet came along, that became another resource and is really the main one at this point.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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      #3
      This forum. Before I came on here, I had no savings at all, so I had no need to manage investments. I was just managing debt. So SA taught me how to save. I would say that bogleheads taught me how to invest.

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        #4
        When our business was just getting going, my brother was instrumental in getting a company 401k program started, pushed and sold everyone hard on participating as much as they could, did training sessions, brought in outside professionals, etc. to try and get all of us thinking about retirement. At year end meetings when we had a little money to split up, we always first maxed out our 401k's before taking anything. Get into those habits for a few years and pretty soon it's almost involuntary, and you don't miss the money.

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          #5
          Being disherited by my parents (for cause, per them) in 2011. My regret is they didn't disherit me in 1995, so that I could have started a lot earlier by jumping into the market & taking advantage of the boom and bust years since.

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            #6
            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
            I hope you also referred him to this site.
            After years of telling others to deaf ears about this forum, I gave up. That is a whole other rant even trying to pass useful articles/info to friends on certain areas that answer their questions. Which I know they don't bother to read, since they ask the same questions over and over. A phone call was definitely more effective.
            "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

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              #7
              When I was about 12 my father let me use my savings from mowing lawns, working odd jobs for neighbors, birthday money to buy shares of his employer's stock. It was in his name, of course, but the money was mine and it got me in the habit of asking questions and learning, checking prices and companies in the paper. Our family was solidly middle-class at that point, but it made me feel rich to say I was invested in the stock market when most kids my age couldn't hang on to a $20 bill for more than a day. I left that money there forever. At least 15 years later it came up in conversation that he still had those shares. To this day I still follow the company and the industry loosely, but the money wasn't life-changing. The initial investment was just under $1,000, and between a split, dividends and some steady growth, the present value had grown to about $2k. He wrote me a check which I put into savings.

              I'm sad to say I never really caught on to picking individual stocks. Feebly, I save a ton in retirement accounts and pick index funds based on industries I know. I haven't done horrible. While I know saving $5/day instead of blowing it at Starbucks (I don't) won't make me rich, I do wonder how rich I could be if I spent the energy I spend on message boards and Facebook on investing instead. Or how broke I'd be! I know enough to aim for and keep myself on track to reach a goal, but it's all ridiculously complex. It's not a type of hobby for which I've had voracious energy, but I do try to keep a tight financial ship otherwise.

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                #8
                I am mostly self-taught. Neither of my parents were particularly good savers. I took matters into my own hands and decided to get educated. If I was going to start a legacy and become the first member of my family to create generational wealth, I knew I had to get started early.

                The biggest influences on me after I graduated college and started making "real" money were SavingAdvice.com and The Suzie Orman Show on CNBC.

                It's interesting how my goals have shifted in the past 15 years. I started off by focusing on paying down student and car loan debt, and saving for an emergency fund and a down payment on a home. Gradually those goals shifted toward saving for a comfortable retirement in 401K and Roth IRA accounts. At this point, goals have shifted toward saving for my children's future education and setting up for a potential early retirement since IRAs and 401Ks are not accessible before the age of 59 1/2 without penalty.

                It's been an interesting ride, and I am extremely grateful to SavingAdvice.com for giving me the information to get me on the right path and allowing me to feel financially empowered.

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                  #9
                  My parents were always somewhat frugal, so I definitely learned basic saving habits from them. But for investing, it was an advisor when I was a junior in college. He almost randomly took a handful of us into his office one evening and taught us about investments, retirement accounts, and building a budget. It wasn't anything necessarily earth-shattering, but it got me interested and I took it from there. I opened up my Roth IRA soon thereafter (~Oct 2006) and sunk most of my savings into it (~$2000? lol... but I only earned a pittance, maybe $8k/yr). From there, I read "The Millionnaire Next Door" (I think he recommended it to us), then at some point in 2007 found this site -- I started reading, learning, and eventually joined & started participating in the conversation. I've learned alot & broadened out from there, but I definitely credit him with starting me down this road, and it's been a highly successful road for me over the last 15 years. He & I had some conflicts periodically, but I'll be forever grateful to him for taking us aside, teaching us, and getting me interested in investing.
                  "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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                    #10
                    My grandma & Grandpa get 100% credit.

                    Back when was about ~10 year old. So around 1997/8ish. Grannie & Grandpa had some money set aside for my Big brother and I for college. And because they had been getting more and more interested and involved in investing in stocks. So they took us down to Olde (what eventually became H&R block for us Old timers) to talk with their broker. Almost like a "mock" investing for us, although they were actually going to use the ~$2500 they put away for each of us for College funds.

                    The three of them (broker, gran + gramp) chose a suite of stocks for my bro and I to choose from. The two they really pushed hard, were Lucent Technologies and Cisco systems. I don't recall the other options.

                    My brother chose 100% Lucent (the higher prospect @ the time). And I recall being proud of my request to split my purchase 50/50% Lucent and Cisco. My grandma & grandpa were proud of me for choosing to split too (probably why that part of the story stands out, if my memory serves me right).

                    We made our investments, learned the process a bit (from a luddite client viewpoint). And my fascination began.... I started to follow the ticker back when people used to watch Cable TV (wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy these days lol). But we had the Massive ride of the .com bubble on the way up! I recall my grandma telling me "oh my goodness, Lucent did a 4 to 1 spin off, and Cisco split". They both did tremendously well on the way up. She kept explaining how we more than doubled our money, and I remember, at a young age, questioning her if we should "sell" ? They thought it wise to stay long.

                    .Com bubble popped in like 2001. Unfortunately for my big bro, lucent eventually went totally tits up.... It had some MASSIVE valuations back in the day... But it went to nothing, and was sold several times. Cisco on the other hand, took a severe beating, but persevered. Although today it's only trading at slightly over 1/2 of it's early 2000's high point.

                    Lessons learned:
                    1) never put your eggs in one basket
                    2) don't be greedy. Don't be afraid to take your MASSIVE PROFITS and choose something safer.
                    3) Best thing you can do with a saved dollar, is give it the BEST job you can think of. (in my experience, it's investing in equities or real estate so far).
                    4) Investing is scalable. Your time is NOT.
                    5) You learn a lot more from Losses than from gains.

                    Can't put a value on those lessons learned. I am thankful and fortunate enough to still have both my grandparents. Until this year, I see them Every single week. Can't stress how much I love them and am grateful to have learned so much from & with them. AND NOW THEY ASK ME FOR STOCK ADVICE!!! Just because I went from single mom & 2 boys(me n' bro) in a trailer ---> nearly a millionaire @ 33 w/o making big money or sacrificing my dignity or integrity. And I owe it all to them.

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                      #11
                      My stepdad. He is the one who ultimately opened my eyes to the world of finances.

                      Brian

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                        #12
                        self reading. My parents are frugal and know how to save. But other than that? Well let's just say they can easily get money stolen.
                        LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                          #13
                          Author Jane Bryant Quinn

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                            #14
                            I learned how to save and stretch money (aka live frugally) from my parents but it wasn't until I was a single parent working my first "real" job in a call center for a financial services company where my immediate supervisor told us about the company match in the retirement benefits account. After that, I always saved at every job for retirement, as much as I could. Get a raise? increase the retirement deduction. Severage package? put it away. I really haven't done anything more than put money away (with such good investment returns). I figured as I expected I would have to take care of myself, I always put away as much as I could and had a healthy emergency account. I hated the idea of paying interest so the only times I did that was for a mortgage and a small student loan. I never took a car loan or had credit card debt. This I think reflects on my determination but also my luck. My family was not ever wealthy but we chose to invest in different things then most mainstream folks. I also knew that if I ran into trouble, I had family as back up. When my Dad died and I inherited money, I invested it, there was a lawsuit and I invested it. If you compartmentalize the money in your mind, it's just not there. It probably helps that I enjoy and appreciate the hunt of a good deal so knowing where to buy a cheap car or the best place to purchase second hand works for me. I'm very risk adverse and security is important to me. My family of two can live on one income because of my rigid choices of not ever spending more than I earn. I can delay gratification very well and recognizing that I do have enough even if I'm not spending a lot. It seems to me lots of people spend money to feel better in all sorts of ways. I do recognize that often folks live this way and the ironic thing is that they die just before they can enjoy it so I feel like I balance that and focus on the joy that I have even when I live this way. It's not *that* spartan. My spouse also helps me stay balanced.

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                              #15
                              Charles Payne and his site Wstreet.

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